Does spinal manipulation change cervical inter-vertebral motion?

Authors: Branney, J.N. and Breen, A.C.

Conference: BritSpine

Dates: 1-4 April 2014

Journal: European Spine Journal

Issue: 23

Pages: 128



To determine if spinal manipulation is associated with changes in cervical inter-vertebral motion (IV-RoM) and if any changes are related to patient outcomes.


Thirty patients with neck pain and 30 matched controls had their cervical inter-vertebral motion (C1/2 – C5/6) measured in flexion and extension by quantitative fluoroscopy (QF). Patients had spinal manipulative treatment over four weeks and completed pain and disability questionnaires at baseline and follow-up. Controls had no treatment and both groups had QF assessments at four weeks. Intra-subject variation in segmental IV-RoM over four weeks was determined in controls.


There was a weak (Rho=0.39, p=0.043) positive correlation between the number of manipulations received and the number of levels that increased in range beyond their intra-subject variation. Segments that had at least four manipulations increased their range more than any change in controls. However, only one hypo-mobile segment increased its range above intra-subject variation, and there was no relationship between clinical improvement and change in IV-RoM.


Spinal manipulation was associated with increased inter-vertebral motion in a dose-response manner, but this was not correlated with outcomes.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Jonny Branney